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Taste and smell - Carers UK Forum

Taste and smell

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
I have been told that the sense of taste and smell alter depending on how far progressd a person is with dementia. And depending on what the person can describe certain things smell like you can tell how far progressed they are. Is this true does anyone know or is it an old wife tale? And if true what sort of things smell or taste diff?
Also Dad sort of wrings his hands together a lot these days is this because he is aggitated or has something on his mind, or does he just do it and not realise , or does he just like wringing his hands together?!! He tells me he is ok. He does also tell me, in a very round about way, when he does have something to say. Bit confused.
Thanks Kxxxx
Hi K,

Well my mother suffers with Alzheimers, she has lost her sense of taste and smell. I once found her drinking milk which has gone off and she hadn't realised. She can't smell things burning in the oven or any food which has gone off. I was told dementia can affect the part of the brain that controls the senses.

Mum also has a syndrome which makes her smell 'paint' all the time. She keeps telling me next door are painting and she can smell it through the walls. They aren't decorating of course, Mum's CPN said it's a condition called 'old factory syndrome'.

I find Mum keeps picking at her nails, she tends to do when she's bored or nervous or perhaps waiting in a hospital queue. She's not constantly doing it but it was just an observation I made.

Hope this helps,
Ah.... losst taste & smell, certainly explains things to me.

Short while ago my grandchildren had a school project & we decanted some pink emulsion paint into an old honey jar which they used to "decorate" a cardboard box. Next morning, I caught my mother spreading this on her toast AND eating it - her mouth was bright pink!!

Few days ago I gave her a mackerel/mayonnaise sandwich, very strong fishy taste. She said what a lovely chicken sandwich.